Monday, 14 September 2015


I’ve been drinking copious amounts of nourishing herbal infusions and teas in an effort to slowly restore my health.

Designed an old-style coat rail from a salvaged skirting board and vintage coat hooks – I design, hubby makes – we're a great team :)
The rail reminds me of, and is based on, my old primary school coat/bag room.

I painted the front entry and the stairwell - which were very, very dark, dingy and uninviting.
Now they are warm and welcoming in their fresh coat of creamy white.

The mornings are still super chilly, and breakfast by the crackling open fire at a favourite café is wonderfully cosy.

Had coffee with a peacock one sunny spring day.

Been serenaded by a magpie.

Receive daily visits from a wee feathered friend.

Walks with “this boy” are fewer and far between, as he prefers to sleep most of the day now. But, he's still never far from my side  ♥♥

Am totally in love with my new - old - vintage cast iron skillet and lid... all the way from the USA!  It's nearly a hundred years old, in perfect condition and is as sturdy as the day it was made. I like to imagine all the meals prepared in it and the hands it has passed through.
A truly rustic, honest and beautiful piece of craftsmanship that we just don't see anymore.

On my studio table.


  1. Loving this look into your beautiful world - and some of its equally beautiful inhabitants.
    I so hope that your herbal infusions and tea are as healing as they look.

    1. Memories made from small, meaningful moments - some, pure happenstance :)

      It is lovely to see the rich colours swirl and dance as they infuse. Healing all the senses.
      I'm experimenting with specific herbal blends. I prefer to make my own, and I feel they are making a difference.
      As with any natural remedies, they just take longer to work - which is fine with me.

  2. I LOVE the new coat rail and that lovely creamy white paint is fabulous. We had the same coat hooks at our primary school.
    I was serenaded by three magpies on my front porch and lawn recently; they were hoping for food. I threw out some bread but they weren't interested and I didn't have anything else.
    Hope you are feeling much better by now.

    1. I think those style of coat hooks were standard issue way back when :)
      Magpie song is such a lovely one. I always stop to listen. And, when they serenade us, it's the best.
      It's going to take some time, but I'm hoping the herbs are working their magic.

  3. Hi, Vicki! Your herbal teas sound so refreshing and uplifting! What do you have brewing in the pretty glass pot?! LOVE, love, love your peg rail--reminds me of school days too! Love the simplicity. And LOVE all your cream & whit decorating... *SWOON*... Glad you're getting your bright cheery look at last. ;o) What fun with coffee & a PEACOCK--a very special morning. Such a lovely cafe... I could live by the fireplace... LOL! And a beautiful red parrot visiting your window--magical! That's a beautiful cast iron skillet. We had bought a new one, but found it hard to get that right "seasoning" going... not sure... we've not use it much either though, maybe isn't smart! HAPPY to see what's dreaming-up on your work table! Make my own fingers itch to sew... LOL! And sweet, Jack... *sigh*... Be taking good care there, my friend--be well, be happy! With spring soon there, may the new season have you blooming! ((LOVE & HUGS))

    1. I have over forty medicinal herbs in my apothecary cabinet, and I'll make up different blends depending on my symptoms at the time.
      Sometimes, the drink will be very refreshing, other times, it calls for a serious brew which is very dense, strong and bitter - I call it "swamp water" because it tastes like what I imagine the bottom of a pond would taste. But, it is effective :)
      In this photo, I used peppermint, rose hips, hibiscus, elderberries and calendula - a very pleasant mid afternoon drink.
      Seasoning CI can be tricky to get right, and I'm still working on building a good season. Love my skillet all the way from P.A. :)
      Have a lovely week Tracy xx

  4. I'm thinking herbal tea recipe posts are in order :)
    Loved the photos, so cozy and comforting, first thing I looked at on my computer this morning with my coffee. Loved the quick visit to your land!
    I am so lucky to have my grandmothers two iron skillets and they are all I cook in, along with a cast iron dutch oven from Lodge. Nothing better for seasoning food and giving your body a little bit of iron. Hope you are feeling better.

    1. I’d be very happy to share the basic herbal blends I like to use, Tracey. But, the more “intense” effective brews, I can share with you in an email :)
      Or, there are some fabulous sites I can refer you to, like Rosemary Gladstar’s and Susun Weed's, and herb suppliers like Mountain Rose Herbs, which are based in the US. The good folk at Real Herbalism Radio have a fabulous informative podcast too.

      I so agree with the cast iron principle and its benefits. The camping stores over here stock the cheaper (dubious) imported ones, and the kitchen stores stock the very high end enamelled ones.
      I adore my honest, old fashioned skillet and am so happy to have a piece of American history in my kitchen :)

  5. i feel like i've just been in your home! and it's SO beautiful.
    do you see me there hugging on our blue boy? and you?
    well. i am.

    i remember hanging my little coat on a board with hooks exactly like those! FEELING SO IMPORTANT! LOL.
    and our boots had to be put below right under our own coat. :) i think it's wonderful that you have that. and the white . . . well. you KNOW i love THAT!
    this is a wonderful post.

    if i were there you could brew me some swamp water! LOL. i have total faith in your advice and total expertise. the arnica helped with my cuff problem.
    instead of swamp water... i'll have to blend my own health store bought hibiscus (good for hypertension as you know) and peppermint... for circulation? and digestion? and others that you've mentioned. i've never thought of BLENDING different teas before! how silly to not do that!

    he had me on 3500 mg of antibiotic per day for 14 days. thank heaven THAT'S OVER. took my last ones yesterday.
    it does seem to be much better. not choking now. now just the lingering cough... as you well know. which will go on and on. we make a good pair i'd say.

    super love to you darling bean. my sister across the blue seas. XOXOXOXO♥

    1. I SO can see you hugging Jack and burying your face deep into his soft, thickly furred neck - a very good place to snuggle him :)
      And, as for me, well, a hug from you would be the very best medicine!

      I would definitely brew you some swamp water for the lingering cough - tastes blech, but is very effective!
      As mentioned to Tracey, I can recommend Mountain Rose Herbs and also a very good US source is Red Moon Herbs. I think it's best to buy from trusted suppliers like these.
      Herbs can lose their potency if stored on a shelf for a long time in a store. Online herb suppliers, like Red Moon, ensure their herbs have optimum potency and freshness when sending them out.
      *Remember to make yourself some good, healthful immune boosting soups – especially now that winter is headed your way. The immune system needs a boost after illness.

      Actually, you’re very blessed in the US, to have such excellent sources of herb suppliers.
      That is why, one day, I hope to have that little sunny property where I can grow and harvest my very own herbs for teas, tinctures and ointments to ensure I’ve good quality nature’s medicine on hand. One day, sigh.

      Ahhh, then, those old hooks must have been standard issue around the world. They are super strong, look great and take me way back.

      Wishing you much restorative health, darling Tam.
      Love you ♥

  6. Oh! I love this post!
    My house is mostly white and then accented with black and brown...
    So I LOVE what you and your hubby created!
    Totally my style.
    My sister does herbs, homeopathic things.
    When I was really sick and my throat hurt and I was coughing all the time.
    I got at least one, sometimes two, lemonade and strawberries on ice from McDonald's every day. LOL!
    I swear it worked.
    When I need an antibiotic...I can't say where I get them but you can guess.
    (Thankfully Blue is so BIG they don't question it)
    otherwise I chug Nyquil. Yep. My habits are awful but they seem to work for me.
    I understand about your Jack, Blue's favorite past-time is sleeping and his second past-time is curling his lip at the little dogs.
    He's turning into a grumpy old man.
    I hate that our boys aren't puppies anymore. :(
    My sister would steal that skillet from you!
    They have several but she still snaps them up at estate sales when she finds one!
    I'm loving seeing your work area and that sketch of the bird!
    Exciting to see what will come alive on your table!
    So happy to see a post!
    I hope you are a 100% soon.

    1. Your house is beautifully decorated in neutrals, Cindi - a great inspiration, along with our dear Tam (fabulous minimalist extraordinaire) and Tracy, whose soft Nordic/Scandinavian style is so pretty and subtle.

      Yes, there are more than a few perks to where you work ;)

      I too hate that our beautiful "blue" boys aren't puppies anymore. Although, I do love my Jack's elder gentlemanly ways, he is such a dear old softie. But then, he has no other dogs to growl at, otherwise he'd be curling his geriatric lip too - he's not into sharing me with others, lol.

      I think your sister is wise to collect old cast iron pieces, especially in good condition. They will become scarcer as time goes on. I'm so lucky to have my skillet in such good nick - well cared for over all those years, I think.

      My studio table is ever morphing as new ideas come along. I'm feeling more like getting back on board, which is good :)
      Looking forward to seeing more of your lovely artwork soon - happy creating!
      I can see images of cards with Blue and crew wearing red Santa hats... just a thought ;)

  7. Oh, I love your white stairwell and entry, and the coat rack that you designed and your husband made. The living room and dining room of my cottage are paneled in knotty pine and I'd love to paint them white, but hubby has a cow at the mere mention. I finally just went ahead and painted the kitchen cream several years ago, what a lovely difference! But, he still hasn't gotten over it, lol.

    My grandmother had a cast iron, self-basting skillet. I never did find out what happened to it after she passed away. Be amazing if you had hers! We'll never know...

    I love magpies, I wish we had them here. Is that gorgeous blue and red bird a parrot? I gasped aloud when I saw it! How magical it must be to be able to look out your window and see such a bird.

    I hope the herbal teas restore you to good health, Vicki. Please give darling Jack lots of hugs from me.



    1. I know! What is it with men and knotty pine?? Argh! I hate the stuff. It's all orange and dark. Makes a room very enclosed.
      It's fine in a hunting cabin or sauna room, but tooo much for everyday on the darker side of the house.
      I don't mind some wood, but the area downstairs was dingy, orange and creepy - Halloween everyday, lol.
      Not anymore though. Even hubby is very pleased with the results.

      Our living room is enclosed with pine - as well as the ceiling! Excessive.
      I've finally convinced him that it should all be painted white. Yay! It took five years and multiple TV home renovation shows :)
      Painted pine panelling looks very cottagey, and fresh. We'll need to invest in a few cans of Zinsser Bin prep coat soon.

      Wouldn't it be awesome if I had your grandmother's skillet? I imagine lovely ladies in long period dresses, aprons tied around them, preparing the family meals and oh... cornbread.

      Yes, that's a little Crimson Rosella parrot that is peering through the window. The colours are strikingly red and blue. He's very cheeky and seeks me out, calling for seed.
      If I don't get up quickly enough, he starts to gnaw on the window ledge for attention.
      He will calmly sit on my hand and eat contentedly. Very cute.

      The herbs are restorative for sure, they just take longer than pharmaceuticals - which I try to avoid as much as possible.

      Jack enjoys his cuddles, and I've delivered his from you just now, as he's sitting by my feet and smiling for more cuddles - happy to indulge him :)

  8. You've been ill.... That's where you have been.

    Glad you are on the mend.

    Love seeing your work on your stairway. Always love to see peeks into the homes of bloggers.

    Your husband is an iron worker. I am in awe of them. All I know, is what I can see on the Home and Garden type shows, on cable tv. It has to be amazing work, because it produces amazing unique items.

    Actually, our son in law does iron work, but his are "only" wine racks. He would not like to see me say "only." But to me, unique gates and hanging holders, are more .... "not only" to me. ,-))))

    1. I too, love little peeks into the worlds of other bloggers. It creates a wonderful connection.
      I always enjoy the sneak peeks of your lovely home, garden and neighbourhood :)

      My husband is very handy with a welder and is clever with wood as well. I'm in awe of his skills and problem solving too.

      Your son is very talented also, and he might find himself creating so much more as he grows older, especially if people commission him for his skills.


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